The Week in Videogames

Chuck is losingVideogames are cool, because they’re fun to play, and they’re fun to write about on the internet! Everybody knows that the best kind of videogames is the kind where you learn things, and that’s awesome because that’s the best kind of internet weblog post, too!

For instance, I learned from Cory that Suikoden V is coming out this week, like tomorrow. According to the previews and the only review out there (which is mostly negative), they’re trying to make it old-school. It’s aimed directly at the people who loved Suikoden II so much that they’re willing to keep buying up any sequel, even though the last two and the spin-offs haven’t been all that spectacular, just on the off chance that it might be as good as a game that came out years ago and even at the time was an off-brand version of Final Fantasy. In other words: me.

No sign of kobold puppies or duck generals in the screenshots I’ve seen so far; closest is a conversation some goofy-looking badger guy. The best thing about the series is its goofy characters, like the kobold pair, the Sanjuro knock-off and Tai Yo, the Iron Chef who fights with a ladle. I’ll be checking out the game, no doubt, but it’s not anything I’m going to stand in line at the store to buy. I may even wait a couple of weeks!

Speaking of waiting a couple of weeks, I finally broke down and ordered an Xbox 360. I couldn’t help it; Oblivion is coming out. I could’ve saved a lot of hassle by just getting the PC version, but with my brain disease and all, it made a lot more sense to spend a lot of money on a videogame machine I’m not going to get for at least two weeks at the earliest and is going to be delivered when I’m out of town, for a game that I’m not going to have any time to play anytime soon.

But I’m a slave to the hype machines, and the game’s getting loads of hype. The best, for the definition of “best” that means “most depressing and awful,” is GameSpot’s live marathon promotion, where paying subscribers can log in to sit and watch somebody else play the game for twelve hours straight. For everybody who’s wanted to get a peek inside the exciting world of a videogame journalist, now’s your chance! They’re going to have a live chat service up during the video where you can talk to other fans watching a GameSpot editor play a videogame, as well as suicide hotline representatives.

I also learned about the new CivCity series that supposedly is going to combine Civilization-type strategy with SimCity or Caesar type city-building. When I was talking about how I don’t like RTS games, but always wish that I did, this is exactly the game I had in mind. Something that’s not as open-ended as SimCity, but still gives you time to check everything out and just build something. There’s no telling how it’ll turn out, of course, but they get my vote just based on the concept.

And there’s an expansion pack for Civilization IV on the way, and another Railroad tycoon type game by the end of the year.

But wait! There’s also a platformer called “Daxter” for the PSP that’s getting all kinds of good reviews, and a new version of Katamari Damacy, perfect for anybody who’s going to be going on two four-hour transcontinental plane flights next week. I’d be stupid not to buy them!

With all this stuff coming out, the only thing that could be better would be if I actually had time to play videogames anymore.